It has been said that it only takes one good idea. And that was exactly the case for Ellen Blakeley of Ellen Blakeley Studio in San Francisco, CA, who was a pioneer in using recycled material to make glass tiles.
It is becoming apparent that “green design” is not a passing trend. More and more, words such as “sustainable,” “LEED certified,” “eco-friendly” and “carbon foot print” are being used to describe the construction of new buildings and homes. According to a statement recently released by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), local communities in the U.S. are expanding their green building programs despite the economic downturn.
Although times remain tough and it seems like everyone is still “pinching pennies,” there are some people out there who are spending money. While they might not be making extravagant purchases or splurging on luxurious vacations, they are choosing to spend their earnings wisely by investing in their homes. Taking the time now to renovate a bathroom or replace outdated kitchen countertops for ones made of granite or quartz will only add value to a residence and pay off in the long run.
With the approach of summer comes the close of another trade show “season.” And while we are in an economic recession, the final results of these stone and tile exhibitions were not all doom and gloom. While in many cases traffic was slower than usual, and there was a noticeable downsize of many exhibition booths, some optimism remained among those in attendance.
This past February, I had the opportunity to be a guest of Tile of Spain on a press tour to Cevisama - the International Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings Show - in Valencia, Spain. A division of the Trade Commission of Spain, the organization promotes Tile of Spain-branded manufacturers, and the primary purpose of this trip was to create awareness of these products.
the holiday season is over, many people are busy making their New Year’s
resolutions.â€¯ One suggestion for architects and
designers in 2009 would be to take advantage of the diverse continuing
educational opportunities that are available -- particularly those offered by
professionals in the stone and tile industries.
Back in March, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a guided quarry tour in Texas, which was hosted by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). This was the third MIA-hosted trip I have taken in the past year, and at the conclusion of each tour, I always walk away with a sense of awe.
In recent years, the word "green" has become an increasingly popular word in our vocabulary -- both personally and professionally. Many associations are working to conceive new ideas that will help in preserving our environment. In particular, one way to accomplish this is by promoting the use of environmentally friendly products.
I know that this has been said before, but the quality and aesthetics of the stone and tile products on the market today have reached a new level. While stone remains timeless, and its appearance and technical qualities haven't necessarily changed, new finishes and format sizes offer more diversity. Suppliers are also going to great lengths to continually introduce exotic materials that are being newly extracted in countries around the world. Meanwhile, in the tile sector, we are witnessing an explosion of new colors, sizes and textures. Glass mosaics, metallic pieces -- and even porcelain designed to resemble hardwood or fabrics -- all contribute to inspiring designs.
In this issue of Contemporary Stone & Tile Design, we bring you our annual focus on Kitchen & Bath Design. From a beach-inspired bathroom design to a kitchen backsplash made of circular mosaic tile, the following are filled with illustrations of innovative and unique uses of stone and tile.